Trump sues Bob Woodward for using audio recordings without his consent

According to the former president, the journalist assured him that the interviews would only be used to produce the manuscript 'Rage', not to publish an audiobook.

On Monday, Donald Trump filed a  lawsuit against Bob Woodward for using audio recordings of his interviews, without his consent. The former president accuses him of having violated his copyrights. As alleged by his legal team, the journalist assured Trump that the 19 interviews he gave were intended solely for use as material in writing the book Rage. The meetings between the politician and the journalist, both in person and by phone, took place between 2019 and 2020, as well as another talk he had with Woodward in 2016, when he was a candidate:

However, they ended up being part of what is known as The Trump Tapes, a series of audios that Woodward and Simon & Schuster Inc. released in October 2022. They are the main reason why the former president asked for 49 million dollars in damages in the lawsuit. The amount, Trump's lawyers assert in the brief, is not coincidental, but the amount the defendants calculate Woodward and the company would have made by selling two million copies at a price of $24.99 each.

The lawsuit, reports The Hill, was presented at the Pensacola Division of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the Northern District of Florida, and also includes Paramount Global, the parent company of Simon & Schuster Inc., as a defendant by clearly profiting from the material used:

This case centers on Mr. Woodward’s systematic usurpation, manipulation, and exploitation of audio of President Trump gathered in connection with a series of interviews conducted by Mr. Woodward. The Defendants’ ongoing concerted efforts to profit off the protected audio recordings and the works they have distributed which were derived from the protected audio recordings, have caused President Trump to sustain substantial damage.

Woodward and Simon & Schuster respond to Trump lawsuit

Despite the charges faced by both the journalist and his publisher, both assured, via a joint press release emailed to Bloomberg that it is a baseless complaint:

Former President Trump’s lawsuit is without merit and we will aggressively defend against it. All these interviews were on the record and recorded with President Trump’s knowledge and agreement. Moreover, it is in the public interest to have this historical record in Trump’s own words. We are confident that the facts and the law are in our favor.